Marion Bartoli: Rafa Nadal no longer in ‘Big Four’

Marion Bartoli: Rafa Nadal no longer in ‘Big Four’

14/07/2015 at 15:12Updated 14/07/2015 at 15:17

Rafa Nadal can no longer count himself amongst men’s tennis’ ‘Big Four’, according to former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli.

A miserable few months for Nadal culminated in a second round defeat at the All England Club to Dustin Brown – his fourth consecutive exit at the tournament to a player outside the world’s top 100.

He also suffered only his second defeat at the French Open as Novak Djokovic ended his hopes of a 10th title at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic and Nadal

Djokovic and NadalReuters

When asked about Nadal’s position in the so-called ‘Big Four’ – widely considered to be Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and the Spaniard – Bartoli insisted he had slipped out of the group.

"With the honours he has won, yes [he is still in it]. But with his level at the moment, no," she told Perform.

Bartoli believes Nadal has the ability to bounce back, but highlighted the chief area he must first improve: his power.

"When you play against him the ball is 25 kilometres per hour slower, the opponent doesn't have the same difficulty to play," she said.

"When he serves, he can't go beyond 115 miles per hour. He is exposed in every return.

"The question is, 'can he get his strength back when he hits the ball?' This is the problem for me. And I don't know why it changed or if it's his racket or his preparation. I don't know if he is injured as well.

"But there is an explanation and his team need to find it because it's vital for him."